Here are five key topics that Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater discussed in his session with reporters Wednesday.
1) Bulkier Bridgewater: The second-year pro joked in his first media availability of training camp about his hooded sweatshirt hiding his muscles.
Bridgewater was asked about his efforts to gain weight this offseason on Wednesday during his second session with reporters and said he set a target weight of 215 pounds with increased muscle mass over what he had in his rookie season.
"I was able to put on some weight but most of it was muscle," Bridgewater said. "I'm trying to make sure that I'm building myself up to withstand some hits that I'm going to take throughout the year and withstand the long season that's ahead of us. Our coaching staff, our training staff, strength and conditioning staff have been doing a great job, with not only me putting on weight but the other guys, whether it's a wide receiver, defensive back and we're going to make sure we take advantage of it."
2) Virtual reality: In addition to physicality, Bridgewater was asked about the virtual reality technology the Vikings began implementing this week. The system from STRIVR will enable Bridgewater to step into reps taken by QBs Shaun Hill, Mike Kafka and Taylor Heinicke and seem them from their vantage points.
"I'll be able to take advantage of it because I'll be able to steal reps," Bridgewater said. "If a guy like Shaun Hill is in there during 7-on-7, I may be watching his reps in practice, but once I go into the classroom and put the virtual goggles on, I'm actually taking that rep now for myself. It's going to be very helpful from the learning curve, for not only me but for other guys in the room. We have back-ups who won't get the same amount of reps that I will get throughout the course of game week, so for them to be able to go in and steal reps is going to be very helpful."
3) Message from Marshall Faulk: Bridgewater was asked about leadership of the team and mentioned a conversation he had with Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk, who interviewed him for NFL Network. When asked, 'Does this feel like your team this year?,' Bridgewater said:
"Oh totally, and at the same time we have guys like Chad Greenway, Linval Joseph, Everson Griffen, Brian Robison the list goes on and on, guys who have established themselves, not only in the National Football League but for this organization. So they make my job much easier. Yesterday I had a talk with Marshall Faulk and he was like, 'You know, it's going to have to be you at some point and you know those moments when you step up into that leadership role are sometimes the defining points of your career.' Hearing those words from him, it means a lot. So, I'm not going to do anything differently and I'll lead with conviction, lead from within and just be myself."
4) Learning from others: When Bridgewater was grand marshal of the Kentucky Derby Parade this year, he also used the opportunity to speak with other quarterbacks who were attending the event.
"When I was down at the Kentucky Derby there was a ton of guys down there and I was able to pick some of those guy's brains. It's always good to get an insight on what those guys are thinking, whether it's heading to the offseason and how they're training or preparing next season. I think it would be very helpful for me going into this year."
5) Playing with expectations:Asked if he likes playing with expectations and the pressure to perform, Bridgewater said, "Yeah, I love it and I don't back down from it."
"The thing is, the beauty of it is, we're still in July," Bridgewater said. "Everyone can say all the good things, but it's not going to happen right now. You can't win a championship in July, but you can lose one if you're not working hard enough and everything. I know that and like I said, I don't back down from the expectations. We have a coaching staff here that keeps everyone level headed."